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Finnish Universities place English language skills top of the agenda

Finnish Universities

New figures from a department of Cambridge University show an increasing number of universities in Finland are ensuring students have the right levels of English language ability.

The study – carried out by Cambridge English Language Assessment – looked at 43 educational institutions across Finland who offer English-medium degree courses. The figures showed that 36 of the organisations now accept the high-level Cambridge English Advanced exam as a minimum entry standard for students wishing to study degree courses delivered in English.

This represents an increase of 15 organisations in the past year which Cambridge says is really encouraging: “We’ve seen huge growth in recognition of our high level Cambridge English Advanced exam from universities across Finland,” says Nicola Johnson from Cambridge English Language Assessment.

“This is really encouraging as Finland is becoming an increasingly important destination for English medium degrees. It’s now the top overseas study destination for Russian students and is increasingly popular with students from other parts of the world. Students who pass Cambridge English Advanced have shown they can use and understand English to a really high level which gives them a competitive advantage when they take up their place at university.”

One recent adopter of the Cambridge English Advanced exam in Finland is the JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Jyväskylä who recently piloted a programme designed to improve English language ability in their university. Pirkko Pollari, Head of Department, led a project which saw the university set up as a Cambridge English centre so they could offer the exam to their staff and students.

She explained: “We want to give students and staff the chance to take an internationally recognized Cambridge English exam,” explained Pirkko Pollari. “So far a small number of our staff have taken the test and we’ll soon be opening up this opportunity more widely in the university. The test is recognised throughout the world so we want to encourage Finnish and International students to sit Cambridge English Advanced to give them a real head start when they graduate.”

The figures come at a time when Cambridge English Advanced was added to the official admissions system for Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland. 

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